We Need Mining. Mining Needs You.
Today, we need green energy to power our homes and vehicles. We need healthcare innovation to save lives and we need new technologies to keep us connected. To build a safer, greener, and more connected world, we need mining. Are you or someone you know looking for an exciting career where you can make a difference? Mining needs you.
Following a two-year study on the context, challenges and solutions for attracting youth to the mining industry, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) launched the National Youth Mining Career Awareness Strategy 2021-2026: Transformation, Innovation and Diversity. The National Strategy provides a plan for engaging with youth, building an awareness of the industry among young job seekers, and producing high-quality research to assist with evidence-based program development.
“In support of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP), the National Strategy aims to attract and develop highly qualified personnel to the mining industry,” said MiHR’s Executive Director Ryan Montpellier. “The percentage of youth participation in the mining industry is low compared to their overall presence in the Canadian labour force. Significant effort is required to raise awareness of mining careers amongst youth and other under-represented groups to secure the labour supply required to meet industry demand given forecasted labour shortages.”
To realize its goals, the National Strategy operates based on five key directions – requiring collaboration among industry stakeholders:
- Increasing Youth Engagement – Engage youth and key stakeholders in the conception and implementation of mining career awareness initiatives.
- Transforming Perceptions – Transform youth perceptions of the mining sector and mining sector careers.
- Reaching Younger Students – Integrate mining sector and mining career awareness into public education curricula and classrooms at the elementary, intermediate and secondary levels.
- Building Alliances Between Industry and Education – Foster innovative industry and post-secondary education partnerships to attract and prepare youth for careers in the mining sector.
- Promoting Diversity in the Workforce – Diversify the mining workforce by engaging with youth from underrepresented groups.
Stemming from the National Strategy, MiHR recently launched a new career awareness campaign: ‘We Need Mining, Mining Needs You.’ Prominent on www.MiningNeedsYou.ca and MiHR’s social media platforms, ‘We Need Mining. Mining Needs You.’ features several useful resources and tools highlighting mining as an innovative, challenging, and rewarding career choice.
We Need Mining
The Canadian mining industry is one of the country’s most important sectors, as it produces the minerals and metals necessary for everyday life and future innovations both nationally and internationally. But it is also one of the oldest industries in the world. Central to Canada’s history, 19th-century prospecting first discovered iron in Quebec and Ontario, and gold in British Columbia and the Yukon. Due to its long history and often remote, underground nature, mining faces challenges with public perception versus reality –but mining is actually on the cutting edge of technology, committed to environmental sustainability, is safe and getting safer, is partnering with Indigenous communities, and is growing in diversity.
One of the key goals of the ‘We Need Mining. Mining Needs You.’ campaign is to shift perceptions about the mining industry, and show youth how they can make meaningful contributions to an innovative industry that holds the promise of good pay and benefits, challenging work, adventure, and opportunities to support environmental sustainability.
The website’s Why Mining page showcases some of the green technology, medical tools, and entertainment devices that depend on minerals and metals. What Does Modern Mining Look Like explores the reality of modern mining and how its use of innovation, approach to environmental sustainability, enhanced safety measures, and diversity in the workforce make the industry an increasingly dynamic sector. There is even a quiz providing insight into the common misconceptions about mining, which further drives home its necessity to daily life.
Mining Needs You
Canada’s mining industry needs to attract more workers to fill the labour gap resulting from retirements. Younger students approaching or graduating from post-secondary school are prime candidates, as their tech-savviness, ambition and variety of skills and qualifications fit well into the mining sector. Many young workers also have skills in other industries that are highly transferrable to mining. With over 120 occupations available, there is a place in mining for everyone.
To help attract youth to the mining industry, www.MiningNeedsYou.ca includes features that help young job seekers find their way in the industry. An interactive job pathway tool allows users to discover different entry-level occupations divided by category and see where these careers may lead. A suite of up-to-date career profiles are linked to the pathway and can also be viewed separately. They provide in-depth information about 48 common mining positions including job descriptions, average salaries, demand, requirements, skill transferability, and much more. The resources section includes numerous valuable links such as mining training programs, a list of accredited Canadian engineering schools and more.
A corresponding social media campaign is also underway using #MiningNeedsYou to help raise awareness of mining careers to Canadian youth.
Mining the Future
MiHR’s career awareness campaign is just one of the several initiatives it has championed to help attract youth to Canada’s mining workforce and strengthen its labour market.
“By choosing a career in mining, youth can help Canada become the world’s leading mining nation – setting a global example for environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and technological innovation,” said Montpellier. “Through implementation of the new National Strategy, youth in Canada will become more aware that mining is essential to our way of life today and to the world we want to create tomorrow.”
Industry stakeholders are urged to contribute to and implement the National Strategy. MiHR is always looking to collaborate with stakeholders on career awareness projects as well as the dissemination of mining-related labour market and career information.
Whether you are a mining employee, executive, involved with a mining-related organization, someone looking for a second career, or a student – we would like to hear your thoughts on the National Youth Mining Career Awareness Strategy and the ‘We Need Mining. Mining Needs You.’ website and social campaign. Please contact William Meyer, MiHR’s Director of Marketing and Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss potential opportunities for collaboration or if you have mining career resources you would like featured on www.MiningNeedsYou.ca
About the Author
Alex Parsons coordinates with the MiHR communications team to write, edit and design market-ready content for the websites, social media pages and other facets of MiHR’s public face. He is also making MiHR.ca easier and more efficient to navigate.
The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) is an independent, non-profit organization that leads collaboration among mining and exploration companies, organized labour, contractors, educational institutions, industry associations and Indigenous groups to identify and address the human resource and labour market challenges facing the Canadian minerals and metals sector.